Monday, 19 November 2012

What Are You Waiting For?

Not many of my lessons at secondary school stick in my mind but one does... We were waiting for a Maths lesson to begin and our teacher was running seriously late. It’s fair to say we were being a little ‘boisterous’ to say the least and certainly not waiting well with our books out, pens at the ready.  Instead the class ‘Joker’ was up to all sorts of no good at the front of the class - which was hugely entertaining at the time.

In the midst of the mayhem that our class room was becoming, in came one of the English teachers who was teaching in a nearby classroom. He had a reputation of having a formidable temper. Purple with rage with thin pursed lips he burst into the room and yelled above the noise, ‘What are you waiting for?’

The collective nature of our activity and noise merged us as if into one being - a creature oozing the hormone-laden scent of deodorant and bravado - and we responded as with one voice, “CHRISTMAS!” This earned us collective laughter and a detention, but the question remains - what are we waiting for as 2012 draws to a conclusion?

Many are waiting for a better time when jobs and income will be more secure. Many are waiting for war in far-away lands to end so that loved ones can return. Many are waiting for the arrival of a baby or someone they love to get well or to die peacefully. Many are waiting to win the lottery. Many are waiting for nations and Governments to act on a plethora of international issues like working to prevent the impact of Climate Change or Peak Oil or poverty in developing nations.  Many are waiting for things in some unnamed general sense to be better, like they were before. Many are waiting. Many are waiting...

Even as we stand in the queue at the Post Office waiting is not a passive thing - we wonder when it’s our turn, we look at the posters around us, we plan our day, what we will eat, how we will make that awkward phone-call....

But waiting is an active thing.  The same is true of the season of Advent. It is the time that the Church sets aside to wait actively and attentively for the God who promises for generations in the story of what we call the Old Testament in the Bible, to come among us in person. He comes to right wrongs, to restore justice, and to renew our relationships with each other and with Him.  It sounds good doesn’t it and it buys right into the hopes and longings of many of us right at the moment.

But as December rolls on and our hopes are raised and our longings met we discover that God Almighty is delayed in coming in person and He sends a baby instead.

All too often this baby is portrayed in many a Christmas card scene as ‘little Jesus meek and mild’ and yet we forget at our peril, that this baby, this Jesus comes to fulfil God’s hopes...  and ours. This Jesus - healer of the broken, crosser of barriers, welcomer of the outsider, forgiver of willfulness, lover of the loveless, table turner, water walker, crucified, dead, buried... and raised...

As we wait for things to get better. As 2012 rolls into 2013. Why not gives this Jesus a chance to fulfil your hopes and dreams... Meek and mild, as if...